World & Latin

VOICES Notes and news on World & Latin releases

Afropean Down Time

11 MAY 09 JOHN C. BRUENING

Zap Mama, the cross-cultural musical entity led by Afropean vocalist and songwriter Marie Daulne, is sending everyone on holiday with their new Heads Up release, ReCreation. She explains that the apparent double meaning within the title ultimately points to a single idea.

"That moment you are relaxing and enjoying yourself is the perfect moment to create a new person within yourself -- to heal yourself and let go of all the negative aspects of your life," she said. "In those times when you relax, you recreate yourself."

The joyous, effervescent tone of ReCreation -- underscored by a mix of Brazilian, African and European grooves -- is a marked departure from Zap Mama's previous release, Supermoon (2007), which was recorded shortly after the death of one of Daulne's close friends. Lending a hand on this new CD are a number of guest vocalists, including Bilal, G. Love and French actor Vincent Cassel (La Haine, Oceans Twelve).

Among the noteworthy tracks are "Singing Sisters," a reunion of Daulne with vocalists Sylvie Nawasidio and Sabine Kabongo -- members of Zap Mama's original a cappella lineup in the early 1990s -- and "Paroles, Paroles," a duet recorded with Cassel in Brazil. The latter is a remake of an Italian pop song from the early 1970s (recorded here in French) that Daulne remembers from her childhood. Cassel reappears in "Non, non, non," a song about flirtation that Daulne admits was inspired by Cassel's wife, Italian actress Monica Bellucci, which should come as no big surprise.

"This new record is about the joy that comes with being reborn," said Daulne. "Even if you can't go on a holiday, you can listen to this album and feel renewed. This is how I want people to feel."